Today (home sick, stomach flu?) I watched Julie & Julia starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. I had wanted to read the book first (as always) because the story is based on two books, Julie & Julia by Julie Powell and My Life in France by Julia Child and united through a third book: Mastering the Art of French Cooking. But in the end, I decided that I can’t always read the book otherwise my To Read Pile would be too big and I’d never watch movies.
The premise of the movie is based around the first book, Julie & Julia, but brings in a larger aspect of My Life in France compared to the book (from what I can tell). The movie goes back and forth (rather seamlessly) between Julie Powell and her husband living in a post-911 New York and Julia Child before she co-authors Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Half of the story is about Julie, a struggling writer who “never finishes anything”. One night she says to her husband that cooking is her way to get away from all that sadness at work and he suggests she write a blog about cooking. This results in the Julie/Julia Project: 524 recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 365 days.
The other half of the story focuses on Julia Child when her husband is reassigned to Paris. There, trying to find herself, she decides to take cooking lessons and we follow her trials and tribulations as she studies at Le Cordon Bleu. Julia ends up meeting two ladies who are co-authoring a cookbook for Americans in Paris and invite Julia to co-author with them.
The stories mirror each other very well and Nora Ephron (director and screenplay writer) did a very good job of representing both women. I was drawn to both women — Julie because she reminded me of all the things I enjoy and hate about blogging, and Julia because she was inspiring about trying new things and pushing the boundaries. There were some things I didn’t care for — Julie reminded me too much of Miranda from Sex and the City, just in mannerisms and look, and Julia’s accent didn’t fit with her American background but I’m sure Meryl Streep did exceptional research.
All in all, it was an enjoyable movie and I’m glad I didn’t wait to read the book first. However, I really just wanted to be able to taste the movie: I wish that it came with pre-cooked meals for you to join in with!